Baekeland Lecture

Established 1943

The only chemist in Time magazine's list of the 20 greatest scientists and thinkers of the 20th century, Baekeland's name and contribution to society is highlighted amongst the likes of Einstein, Freud and the Wright brothers.

Baekeland's practical creativity had a massive impact on the industries covered by SCI, leading to the development of the vast polymeric materials sector. Inexpensive to produce and versatile, Bakelite, the world's first synthetic plastic, revolutionised the development and manufacture of many products, and made a range of durable household items widely accessible.

Baekeland's industrial application of scientific research and his use of SCI connections to arrange world-wide manufacture and distribution of the resulting products are examples of the ethos at the heart of SCI. In 1943, shortly before his death, his company endowed this lecture to perpetuate his memory and promote his visionary approach.

Award Information

Award History

The Beilby Medal and Prize was established in 1930 in honour of Sir George Beilby. Sir Beilby's long and remarkable career as scientist and industrialist was marked by an enduring interest in the twin concerns of fuel economy and smoke abatement. His dedication and energetic research had great significance for the fuel and metal industries, and produced far-reaching advantages for society. He was SCI World President in 1898 and contributed greatly to SCI's growth in Scotland. A Beilby Memorial Fund to reward exceptional research was raised in his honour by subscription.


The Medals Committee of the SCI America Executive Committee. Nominees should not include active officers or Executive Committee members of the Section. Nominees not selected for the award in any given year may continue to be considered for two years after the original nomination.

Lecture Details

2021: The winner receives £1000 along with a medal and certificate. The 2021 Beilby Medal and Prize is being administered by the RSC and details about the lecture will be published in due course.

2020: Professor Xuan was presented with his prize at the Beilby Medal and Lecture 2020 event on 2 December, where he also gave a talk entitled ‘Tailoring Future Renewable Fuel Systems for Net Zero UK’.

Eligibility Criteria

    • Authority on Polymeric materials
    Career Stage
    • TBC
    • TBC
    • TBC
    • TBC


Nominations open TBC
Nominations close TBC

Additional Information

Beilby Medal and Prize flyer 2017
Code of Ethics for Members

Other SCI Awards

Joseph Bazalgette Award

The Joseph Bazalgette Award was formerly named the Construction Materials Group Young Researchers' Award and is awarded to the person producing the best paper/presentation given at a Construction Materials Young Researchers' Forum.

George Bessey Award

The award allows the Construction Materials Group to recognise the efforts of dedicated and exceptional Members who have given their time to recruit new Members, administer the Group's affairs, write for publications, and/or otherwise contribute.

Awards News